2013 should prove to be interesting

New Year’s Day is a traditional time to reflect on accomplishments of the previous year while looking to what the next year will bring.

While there are many reasons to be optimistic on this first day of 2013, there are several nagging questions that remain unanswered.

For example, the Tri-State Area continues to feel the benefits of the oil and gas industry. Our area sits on top of the Marcellus and Utica shale formations, and money generated in the search for and extraction of gas and oil should continue to benefit our area.

Economic development continues in our area. In West Virginia, for example, the Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle has been very active in the past year, playing a major role in making the former TS&T pottery property in Hancock County and the former Wheeling Corrugating property in Brooke County available for development.

Across the Ohio River, work is continuing on the expansion of the runway at the Jefferson County Airpark, and the county’s industrial park continues to grow.

This year figures to see other changes. In Hancock County, former Weirton Police Chief Ralph Fletcher is the new sheriff, while the man he is replacing, Mike White, is the new magistrate.

In Brooke County, meanwhile, Chuck Jackson takes over as sheriff and Joseph Barki III?is the new prosecutor. Jim Andreozzi is beginning his duties as a new county commissioner.

Junior high school pupils in Indian Creek will be starting the new year in a new school, while students in Toronto will begin classes in August in a newly built combined junior high and high school.

Members of council in Mingo Junction will be faced with continuing tough choices as the village struggles with declining revenues. In Steubenville, meanwhile, council, members of the administration and city employees will have to continue to work together as the city continues to face economic concerns.

Add it all up, and it’s obvious 2013 is already looking to be very interesting.

Here’s hoping it’s a good year.